Cape Town - The Springboks have suffered an injury setback with news that prop Frans Malherbe is set to miss Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Port Elizabeth.
Team doctor Konrad von Hagen told Netwerk24 that Malherbe has been complaining about a sore neck since last Thursday.
The player will undergo further tests but is unlikely to be available for Saturday's Test against Los Pumas.
Malherbe's absence will leave the Boks in a spot of bother at tighthead, as Ruan Dreyer, who will soon become a father, is not with the squad.
This means Coenie Oosthuizen and Trevor Nyakane, who both previously played loosehead prop, could be required to start at tighthead.
The other front-rankers in the Springbok squad - Steven Kitshoff, Tendai Mtawarira and Lizo Gqoboka - are all looseheads.
The crisis at tighthead could prompt coach Allister Coetzee to call-up Stormers tighthead Wilco Louw, who featured for the SA ‘A’ side in the two-game series against the French Barbarians in June.
Meanwhile, scrumhalf Ross Cronje faces a fitness test as he is still recovering from shoulder and chest injuries sustained in the Super Rugby final.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard is making progress in his recovery from an ankle injury, but will not be considered this weekend.
Saturday's Test at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is scheduled for 17:05.